Advertisers don’t want a duopoly in ad platforms: Rose Tsou, Verizon Media

Tsou, Head of International, Verizon Media, talks about how the company is looking to become an alternative for advertisers who don’t want to see a duopoly in ad platforms

by Neeta Nair
Published - Oct 9, 2019 8:41 AM Updated: Oct 9, 2019 9:02 AM

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RoseTsou

As per e-marketer, Verizon Media is the eighth largest advertising platform in the world and has a host of consumer media brands such as Yahoo News, Yahoo Cricket, Yahoo Mail, HuffPost India, and Makers, a storytelling online platform for the trailblazing women of today, which the brand just launched in India.

In a conversation with exchange4media, Rose Tsou, Head of International, Verizon Media, talks about how the company is looking to become an alternative for advertisers who don’t want to see a duopoly in ad platforms and how they hope to strike partnerships in India to make this happen. 

Excerpts

Verizon Media just launched consumer media brand Makers, tell us about it.

India is one of the fastest growing internet markets in the world. As many as 42 per cent of the population here comprises women. We realised that our brands are a little skewed towards the male population of the country with Yahoo Mail, cricket, finance etc, and that too at a time when more and more women are coming online. The best example of women making their voices heard was the #MeToo campaign last year. Also, the government wanted to encourage more women to come into the workforce. All this coincided and resonated well with our brand’s mission, which is to help people live a better life through trusted content and connections in commerce. And when we looked at our portfolio, Makers really stood out as one of the brands that resonates well with women, especially in the modern times. So we just felt that Makers is the right product for the country. It is not just a media site, it is a platform to empower women.

Yahoo is one of the earliest internet companies, but as of 2018, you are the sixth most visited website globally, as per web analytics service Alexa. Are you content with that?

When it comes to search, we have partnered with Bing. We no longer build our own search engine. So, we had to make some strategic pivot. Years ago, we decided we wanted to partner with someone who is going to be deeply committed in the search technology development for the long haul. And it has been 10 years since that. This is a long-term partnership, and so far, we are very happy to be working with Bing worldwide.

Do you think today you can use Yahoo and AOL to build a strong third alternative in a digital advertising market that is currently dominated by Google and Facebook?

When it comes to advertising, we constantly hear that advertisers don’t want to see a duopoly. Everyone is looking for alternative. And Verizon Media ad platform can really be the alternative. That’s why we are aggregating. We will continue to see partnerships so that we can give the breadth of coverage to the advertiser and also the quality data that they can trust.

Which are the platforms in India where you are seeing potential for partnerships?

OTT would be one of them. About a year ago, when I looked at the OTT business here in India, there were just a handful of players, and right now, the number is close to 60. And all this in just a year’s time. So, we are in talks with some of the OTT service providers about our potential collaboration and distribution of content. And at the same time, on whether we have the wherewithal to help them drive subscription, and also helping them in identifying the right audience or do a comparison. On the advertising frontier, we also provide the SSP solution. For eg, they may have a video inventory that they want to offload and sell to the advertisers. We provide such a platform where they can offload it to us and we can help them do the monetisation.

Tell us a little about the various advertising solutions you have in India?  

Native advertising is our strongest product worldwide, and India. It gives you an immersive experience for your content. It comes in various formats and has most traction with advertisers here in India, as well as worldwide. And in both places, we are seeing a double digit growth in it.

The other one is our DSP for programmatic advertising, which has also seen a double digit growth over the year. Our DSP is world number 2, as far as overall transactions are concerned.

So, these are two products that have seen tremendous growth in this country, especially considering that India is moving towards programmatic advertising very quickly. We are very excited to see that in the last six months, our mobile growth has been more than 100 per cent here. India has become one of our top five markets internationally.

 

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